Elyriel Winters [KoW] – Beginnings

 

Now we get into the first character that I truly roleplayed from Day 1 of her existence.  I created Elyriel in early 2000 after having debated for some time about taking the plunge and trying to hook up with one of the “hard core” roleplaying groups I’d met as Brenna.  As I mentioned in my posts about the Battle for Trinsic, a run-in with Xavier Sterling finally convinced me that it was time to give it a try.  I created Elyriel with no real plan for where she would end up – I simply put together a backstory and gave her a childishly golden view on knights.  I wanted to introduce her to Winterfell, but I started her in Yew so I could work on her skills and meet a few other roleplayers first.  She spent a month or two in the Yew neighborhood, making a few friends and generally trying to avoid getting killed with the Minax War spawns plaguing the town.

So let’s start with her origins, from the character perspective.

Elyriel was a native of Skara Brae, the city of rangers and I believe the city of Spirituality (most of the cities had associated Virtues).  Her father, Andrew Winters, was a prominent member of the Tailor’s Guild for many years.  Elyriel had been an only child as her mother passed away while Elyriel was still young.  While her mother was still with her, Elyriel was wrapped in stories of adventure and knights, a favorite passtime of her mother’s while they sat long hours doing the menial work of the Guild.  It was a glimpse into a bigger world than Elly had in Skara, and she fell in love with the notion of knighthood and grand adventures.  When her mother died, Elyriel was heartbroken, and her father was devastated.  Elyriel did her best to take on her mother’s work, but she quickly realized that her father had changed for the worse.  Andrew grew more distant and far more wrapped up in his position.  Other than requiring her to mind her chores, Andrew rarely had time for Elyriel and left her to her own devices.  Elly used what freedom she had to wheedle archery lessons out of one of the local rangers, and even a few practice sessions with a very small mace from a guardsman.  But as she grew older, Elyriel discovered that her father was starting to shop her around as a bride – with an eye for cementing more influence in the city.  He chose a well-off merchant in Skara’s social circles, but the man was quite a bit older than Elyriel.  She was furious with her father and very frustrated since she had no interest in her supposed husband-to-be.

Terrified that her life would be consumed by an unwanted marriage, and still dreaming about adventure, Elyriel fled Skara Brae for Yew.  She took almost nothing with her except a worn bow and a used mace.  Using her knowledge of tailoring to get by, she eked out a living for a while.  She wanted nothing more than to vanish into the wilderness long enough to lose her father and anyone he might send after her.

Elyriel Winters – February 2001

While she was in Yew, Elyriel met many interesting people.  She also had plenty of time to practice using her weapons and to learn more about the greater world.  She was content enough with what she had until she stumbled through a gate someone had opened near the Abbey.  Lost and disoriented, she wandered into a large town which the locals identified as Northwood, which was the home of the Kingdom of Winterfell and several other groups.  Seeing some of the Kingdom’s citizens and Knights, Elyriel found the place capitvating.  When she found out how remote the Kingdom was from most anything controlled by Lord British, and therefore her father and his resources, she liked it even more.  Elyriel managed to get a gate back to Yew with the help of St John Wraith, the man who would be a focal point in her life thereafter.  But Elyriel decided she wanted to see more of the place, made sure it was marked on her map, and made several more visits just as a traveler.

Elyriel was fortunate enough to attend the wedding of King William II and Queen Jocelyn.  It was shortly after that affair that she had her first opportunity to talk to some of the citizens about becoming part of the Kingdom.  By chance, she was lingering in the rooftop garden after speaking with several townspeople one evening.  To her surprise, St John Wraith found her there and began asking questions.  That little encounter launched her life in a completely new direction.

King William II and Queen Jocelyn’s Wedding

Now while relating Elyriel’s life, I’ll be posting parts of the series of stories that Wraith’s player and I wrote in late 2000 and early 2001.  At the time, we were trying to stitch together everything that had led up to where they were at the current time.  A lot of it was taken directly from in-game events – I used the logs that I had at the time (most of which are now gone) to capture the dialogue almost word-for-word in most instances.  Of course, some of it was completely fictional too.  I’ll try to point out which is which as we go along.

If I use the stories as we wrote them, I SHOULD start with that evening on the rooftop of Winterfell’s tower in Northwood.  I do have the “story” version of that, but honestly, I prefer the actual events much more.  And I have the log for it too.  :) 

Log – Wraith’s Interview of Elyriel

I found it ironic that chance led Elyriel to join House Sterling, headed by Count Xavier Sterling, the man who prompted me to create the character and bring her to Winterfell at all.  *chuckles* 

In any case, Elyriel was now part of Winterfell through House Sterling, and Wraith accepted her as his squire.  Seeing how she was fascinated with knights anyway, having her BECOME a knight sounded pretty darn good to me.  Unfortunately, I had no idea that women and the Knighthood in Winterfell really hadn’t played out prior to that.  Or if it had, the King and Queen certainly didn’t recall it.  *laughs*  So in a way, Elyriel was the first woman to seek Knighthood – and that put a huge cloud over what seemed like a bright start in Winterfell at the time.

The only downside to my timing was the imminent Felucca/Trammel split.  I really really should have gone to Northwood sooner.  Like all roleplaying guilds, Winterfell was faced with a choice – stick with what they had or try to secure new houses in Trammel once we were allowed to place buildings there.  As I was new to KoW, I wasn’t privvy to the debate over staying or moving.  But I quickly found out, through Elyriel, that the Kingdom was in fact moving to Trammel.  Elyriel didn’t spend more than a month or two at most in Northwood before they started preparations to move.  Since Trammel was open to us, but housing placement was not, Winterfell had to come up with a way to cope.  They did that by moving us to Stark Keep, a static game-world guard tower complex along the north road running from where Northwood was to Yew.  I can’t remember if the Keep we inhabited was on the Felucca or the Trammel side.  I really want to say it was in Trammel because I don’t recall any of the devastation that Felucca became at the conclusion of the War.

But that’s beside the point.  Elyriel packed up and relocated to Stark Keep with her new lieges and her Knight.  Although the move was a harsh blow to most of the Northwood residents that came with the Kingdom, Elyriel quickly turned Stark into “home”.  Wraith and Xavier began her training in earnest, and she learned a great deal about weaponry, Knighthood, and her mentors’ faith in Paladiene (Wraith had been a member of the Church before he became a Knight).  She also made two close friends who would “adopt” her as sister – Sabrina and Arwynn.  For a young woman who had been very lonely in Skara and then on the run in Yew, Elyriel flourished at Stark.

Being a squire meant that Elyriel spent a LOT of time posted at the Keep or patrolling the area.  She got to meet most of the Kingdom’s citizens at the time, plus a large number of people who frequented the area.  This was how she got to know Pagan Lightbring and Pict Fox, both of whom would become good friends.  She also met Damian Everblade, Myca and Katelynn Vodyanoy, and Daca Ratavykos for the first time.  Myca and Daca were vampire lords, part of the Convenant of Blood, and were on-and-off friendly with Winterfell.  (Elyriel and I got a crash course in the history between Winterfell and the Covenant during those months.)  At the time Elyriel was at Stark, things were neutral to friendly enough that the Covenant’s members visited regularly.  In particular, Elyriel befriended Daca (or the other way around, depending on how you want to look at it!), and he had a habit of turning up to check in on her or help out when battles came up.

All in all, it was a great time for Elyriel and for me as a player.  We were smack in the middle of everything I had seen from the fringes as Brenna.  I also was far enough removed from the OOC side of the game (still) to be completely oblivious to a lot of things that doubtlessly were going on behind the scenes.  This probably was the most fun I had in the game until I got to Anne.  *sigh*

Somehow though, none of my characters were ever allowed to progress for long without some life-altering event completely skewing the world on them.  Elyriel was happy as can be in her role as Wraith’s squire, and she eagerly absorbed everything he and the other soldiers could teach her.  Little did she or I know that RL would intrude on us here just as it had on Brenna and I with Gorren.

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